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What is life in Christ like?


How can one live a Christ-like life today?

Thank you for asking a question on This is your Bible.

Living a life in Christ requires us to stop doing what we want to do naturally and do instead what is pleasing to God.The only source of knowledge of what is pleasing to God is the Bible. The Bible is the inspired word of God, written for our learning.

Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

The life that wholly pleased God is the one demonstrated by Jesus Christ.

Matthew 4:4... Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

One who is baptised into Christ tries to emulate him by keeping his commandments.The two commandments which apply are:

Mark 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Our neighbour includes our enemies.

Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven:

Christ died for those who would keep his commandments.

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

When we are baptised into Christ we are baptised into his death and arise from the waters of baptism to live a new life in Christ.

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

In Christ we try not to serve sin.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Thessalonians 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to pleaseGod, so ye would abound more and more.

2 Timothy 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

Hebrews 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased

The emphasis is on ‘doing’ those things which please God.

The writer to the Hebrews says:

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

James says:

James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Regrettably, we can have no visible sign of assurance that we are pleasing God in this life. Life in Christ is not accompanied by a ‘feeling’ of a ‘supernatural presence’ in our lives as some would suggest.For this reason we work out our salvation in fear and trembling.

Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

The breaking of Bread and drinking of wine was instituted so that we might meet regularly to remember Christ and at the same time examine our lives when set against his.

1 Corinthians 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

For the same reason we are told to exhort one another.

Hebrews 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

In this way we can help each other.

We will only know what God wants us to do if we regularly read the Bible which is why he caused it to be written.

2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

The Bible instructs us how we should live in Christ and we must examine our lives in the light of what it says. We have within us a ‘conscience’ designed for this purpose. John refers to it as our ‘heart’.

1 John 3:20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.

Self examination will put us in Paul’s position recorded in Romans 7:9-25 which gives some comfort and I commend it to you.

At baptism our nature is not changed and we will still sin; but if we confess our sins God will forgive us.

1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1Jo 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Baptism into Christ does not mean that we cannot ‘fall away’ and be rejected.

1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

A life in Christ does not mean that we are protected from the troubles that are common to all men.It will not protect us from accidents, illnesses, poverty or death. However, we are assured that none of these things will separate us from the love of God.

Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

That we will not be tried above that we are able to bear.

1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

That everything will work for our ultimate salvation.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

We live and die in the hope of resurrection to eternal life in the kingdom of God when Christ returns.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Paul describes what is to happen in the future to those in Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

A life in Christ is one lived in hope of the life to come which will last forever; free from the sorrow, pain, sin, disease and death of this present life.

I hope this helps.

Glenn Smith

 
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